Giving visitors your expertise for free, pays

There are three types of visitors to your website, and one way to appeal to them all

People who visit your website fit into three categories. Not just your website, all websites. As it is for my IT and web support and services company, so it is for my friend’s personal training business, and say, someone’s mortgage broker business. Anyone who visits your website is either a DIY-er, a have-a-go or a just-do-it-for-me.

Because there is very little information which isn’t available for free somewhere on the Internet, if someone wants to do something themselves rather than pay an expert, they can, more than likely, find out on the Internet how to do it. If they’re trying to build a house, all those ‘how to’ articles are going to aid the dedicated DIY-er in getting there. “How to build the perfect staircase”, “how to choose the best brick”, “where to get the best light fitting”, and so on.

It’s a problem for us experts trying to sell our services that the Internet is already full of this free information about our services. And it’s very unlikely that you know something that someone else hasn’t already put online for free. If you do, you should be either making a lot of money or featuring on Dragon’s Den very soon!

For the rest of us, there is only one universal way to appeal to a DIY-er, a have-a-go and a just-do-it-for-me. It may seem counter intuitive but, you need to put everything you know online for free. Yes, that’s right! The information is out there anyway, and you need to demonstrate that you are an expert in your field. Here’s how this approach can pay off, with all three visitor types:

The DIY-er

“I will read all of your articles, pay you nothing and do it myself.” These people scour the web for as much free information as they can get their hands on. You could have 500 individual articles on your website about building the perfect house and these people will have the time to find everything they need and build that house (obviously nowhere near as good as you could build it – have you ever seen a good wall by a DIY plasterer?) You’ll never change the mindset of these people. They’ll lurk on your website, stealing all of your ideas and you don’t make a penny. Or so you think. But someone may, one day, ask them how they put the roof on or how they installed their alarm, and that DIY-er may say they saw how to do it on your website, and then that person may come to you and ask you to do it for them. And even if this never happens, you’ll never stop the DIY-er.

The have-a-go

These people will try to build the house themselves, referring to all the free information they can, but they’ll get tired, and maybe a bit overwhelmed at how difficult and complicated it is. They’ll get stuck, then they’ll need help. And maybe think, “I’ll just get someone in to finish it for me”. If you’re the one they’ve been referring to for the expertise they needed to get this far, they’ll come to you. If you’re as helpful in real life as you are in your online content they’ll stick with you and talk to others about how they had a go, but in the end needed you to do it, and what a great job you did.

The just-do-it-for-me

Finally, you have the people who are happy to pay for your expertise and have no interest in working out how to do it themselves. It may be tempting to think these people are the best kind of website visitor to have, but it’s not that simple. If they can’t be bothered to build the house then maybe they’re too disinterested to appreciate the work behind your pricing and refer you to others. However, these people exist and it’s up to you to engage and captivate them with your genius.

Giving away all your information for free works for all three of these visitor types. The DIY-er will share information far and wide, because they’re so proud of their achievements, which means the non-DIY-ers will get to know about you and buy from you. While the just-do-it visitor will be good for a lump of cash although they may never tell anyone who did do it for them. Giving all of your information away for free works on all levels.

It may be hard to let go of all your secrets (that aren’t secrets - sorry) but you can stamp your name and logo all over those articles and let people share them wherever they want. Do it gradually; don’t post your full manual online all in one go. Post it a page at a time as individual articles, maybe once a day, twice a week, weekly, monthly – it’s up to you and depends how much information you have. However you do it, telling people everything you know will mean that in the end, you’re the winner.